Can an in­tern­ship for grown-ups help you?

Daily Mail - - Career Mail - LINDA WHITNEY

THE Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced a £5 mil­lion fund to help par­ents re­turn to work af­ter a ca­reer break. But how do these so- called ‘re­turn­ships’ work? Emma Bow­man, now a se­nior man­ager at Lloyds Bank­ing Group, says: ‘Fif­teen years ago, I de­cided to take an ex­tended ca­reer break to raise my six chil­dren.

‘But when I wanted to re­turn to the City, my job ap­pli­ca­tions were re­jected be­cause of my ca­reer break.’

So Emma re­searched re­turn­ships and found the Lloyds Bank­ing Group Re­turn­ers Pro­gramme. Those on the scheme re­ceive train­ing and men­tor­ing. At the end, Emma was of­fered a job.

She says: ‘Any­one strug­gling to make the tran­si­tion back into work should con­sider a re­turn­ship. It bridges the gap for peo­ple with a ca­reer break on their CV.’

Fiona Can­non, di­rec­tor of in­clu­sion and di­ver­sity at Lloyds Bank­ing Group, says: ‘A ca­reer break should not be viewed as a dis­ad­van­tage. It’s ex­pe­ri­ence and trans­fer­able lead­er­ship skills that are im­por­tant.’

Em­ploy­ers of­fer­ing re­turn­ships in­clude the Home Of­fice, IT firm Capgem­ini, Bal­four Beatty and KPMG. See wom­en­re­turn­

Re­search in 2016 from ac­coun­tants PwC es­ti­mated 427,000 UK women are on a ca­reer break and likely to re­turn — but 65 per cent could be work­ing below their po­ten­tial.

The fig­ures sug­gest the ca­reer break penalty amounts to about £4,000 for each woman.

Laura Hin­ton, head of peo­ple at PwC, says: ‘It’s great to see the Gov­ern­ment’s cash in­jec­tion to pro­mote re­turn­ships.

‘They are a great way to break down the ca­reer break penalty.’

Back: Emma Bow­man

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